How Productive Failure Is A Boon For Students!

One of the greatest saying “learn from your mistake,” has now ideologically become a popular belief in the education industry, recently. Learning from failure seems to feel like common sense to many of as not to repeat the same mistake again.

Well, the idea of “picking yourself up after a fall” has a log existence in many parts of the word, but especially in American education culture. Teachers are in a hope to instill this ideology in their students so that they can be emotionally free and setback inherent to learn new things.

But, transforming the unsuccessful experience failure into a positive thinking is not as easy as saying change your mindsets! It takes meticulous lesson design, a sturdy classroom culture and an intellectual instructor.How Productive Failure Is A Boon For Students!Well, the general concept  of ‘productive failure’ is to develop a task that students will not be able to resolve, but moto is to to recall the pre-existing knowledge to solve the given problem. The pre-existing knowledge can be of the subject itself, as well as the informal insight from student’s life. Finally, students will certainly fail, but that failure has to been framed as part of learning and not seen as despicable. This process prepare student’s brain to learn new concepts from their mentors after the initial failure.

It might seem link this process would facilitate students until they find the success after seeing the failure. After discovering their own failures and experiencing the problem solving process, the mentor has to discuss the key points of students’ attempts and acknowledging them with new concepts.

Principles of Productive Failure Lesson Design

  • The tasks provided to students must be in moderate level: challenging to engage, but no so challenging that they give up.
  • The task should have multiple ideas, solutions or ways to solve it. This helps students to generate multitude of ideas.
  • It should activate pre-existing knowledge, and must not be just a formal learning.
  • The task should be designed to activate students’ knowledge to solve the problem.

“Several research programs increasingly point to the role of failure in learning and problem solving. The research on impasse-driven learning in coached problem-solving situations suggests that successful learning of a principle was associated with events when students reached an impasse during problem solving.” according to Manu Kapur, National Institute of Education, Singapore.

Manu Kapur also suggest that the teachers training program also focuses on improving their content knowledge. Teacher should have a deep understanding of the subject matter while dealing with students ideals and misconceptions. Finally, Kapur points out and assist mentors to improve on important pedagogical aspects by facilitating group work and consolidating ideas.

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